No matter who you are, or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here at University Congregational United Church of Christ. Young, old, sure of your path, or still searching — we invite you to join us in imagining love and justice – as Jesus did – and acting to change the world. We strive to walk in the path of Jesus, and to offer an authentic welcome to everyone who walks through our door. We invite visitors to wear a name-tag from the pew register folder so we may more easily greet you by name.

Our worship service starts at 10 am and includes hymns, prayers, scripture reading and a sermon. It usually lasts about an hour and 15 minutes. More information here.

Children are an important part of our community, and are welcome for all or part or the service. You will be met at the door with a warm handshake and welcome, and our friendly greeters can help direct you and answer your questions.

Wear clothes that you are comfortable in and sit on the main floor or in the balcony - wherever you feel most at ease. We look forward to welcoming you.

UCUCC Parking Map

View for detailed Google Map.

Parking can be a challenge in the University District! Persistence, patience and an early start are keys to success.

UW has free parking on Sundays. Enter the main campus gate at NE 45th and 17th Ave NE and turn left past the toll booth. It's about a three-block walk to the church. The UW Meany Garage at 15th Ave. NE and NE 41st St. is a five-block walk.

The church also owns three parking lots - Lot A is across the street from the church on 16th Ave. E. Lot B is beneath Sortun Court, just north of the church on the east side of 16th Ave. E. (It closes at 2 p.m.) Lot C (for those with difficulty walking, young children and visitors) is at the corner of 15th NE and NE 45th St., next to the church.

If you need to be assured of a close parking spot, you can call the church office before noon on Friday to reserve one: 206-524-2322.

We offer a complimentary "inquirers Lunch" on the second Sunday of the month for people interested in learning more about us. It is an informal session over soup, salad and dessert where you can meet others who may be on a similar spiritual journey and learn how to plug into this church community from long-term members and clergy.

We'll explore topics from history, to theology, to membership. To RSVP, or let us know about special needs (Including childcare or food sensitivities) email us at gro.ccuytisrevinu@sreriuqni or call 206-979-7539.

We are an inter-generational church and strive to be family-friendly, with an active ministry for children and youth. All ages are welcome in worship. We also offer nursery and child-care, Younger children begin the service with us and usually leave after about 15 minutes. Older children have the option of leaving for a special sermon time. Junior high and high school youth meet at 9 am and then often sit together in worship. Give us a call at 206-524-2322 for more specifics.

Hearing Impaired: Our sanctuary has an induction loop system that uses the T-Coil mode of your hearing aids. You can get the necessary equipment just before entering the Sanctuary on the right or ask any usher.

Visually Impaired: We offer each Sunday's program in large print for easier readability.

Wheelchair Access: The front entry is wheelchair accessible as are the rest rooms. Please don't hesitate to ask for assistance.

I was 19 and retelling my romantic relationship melodrama to Rick, a church camp friend.
And then he said, “That’s how it is when I see Todd.”

In one split second my brain went from
“that’s a funny name for a girl”
to “I don’t think he’s talking about a girl”
to “I think he’s telling me that he’s gay”
to “I guess love is all the same.”

In that unforgettable moment, I had received a precious gift of Rick’s loving listening to me and then his courageous sharing with me about his former boyfriend named Todd.  He was coming out to me as gay (which no one had ever done before). And, fortunately, with Rick’s help, I had the sense to know in a flash that this was totally OK, that his same gender love was the same as my opposite gender love. Love is love.

I share this story to lift up Rick, his struggle and courage and the struggle and courage of all those people who are same gender loving or transgender or who just don’t conform to old gender expectations.  Like me, Rick was one who grew up in the United Methodist Church (UMC). Rick’s father was a UMC pastor and we had met at a UMC summer camp.

I knew then as I know now that there were and are troubled waters in the UMC, that there was and is a troubling and painful proclamation that LGBTQ persons are not affirmed as fully as straight persons. It was one chief reason for my leaving the UMC in 1995. But I am not the hero. Rick is.  And all the LGBTQ communities who have held together and somehow maintained hope. And any other person and community who have had the wisdom and courage to swim in these kinds of currents and still know God’s profound, unbounded, and equal love for them.

Just recently, representatives of the 12 million global UMC members chose to continue an official stance of condemnation of LGBTQ persons. They cannot be clergy and their lives are questioned by UMC doctrine. In some sense, nothing has changed for the UMC. They simply refused to move forward.  Many of my old seminary classmates will continue to fight for change as they have been and many LGBTQ people will continue to suffer (and even die) as a result of this proclamation.

Remember the fish story from my last post? The one where the elder fish asks the younger two fish, “How’s the water?” And then the young fish eventually ask, “What is water?”

That invisible, unknown water is what we are born into, cultural and familial.  It is so encompassing and implicit that we don’t know it’s there.  Now while many UMC members in the USA and in Africa may have been explicitly taught by their church that not being straight or gender conforming is wrong or less than, what they have not seen is the deeply implicit message that keeping this kind of categorical order is how such societies believe they are preserved from disintegration and chaos (see Mary Douglas’ seminal book Purity and Danger). This ‘invisible water’ in which traditional societies swim implicitly enshrines as Divinely ordained the traditional core categories of that culture. When such a society is under pressure, changes in such categories are seen as threats to order and a form of dangerous destabilizing impurity. (Surely, we remember all those who claimed gay marriage would spell the disintegration of the nation and everything would fall apart.  Hmmm…still waiting.)

Of course, order is not all a bad thing nor are traditional societies, but this is the shadow side: a rigid, dominating, fearful resistance to the beauty of diversity and the gifts of evolution.  And the missionary colonial form of the Gospel taken to Africa by the UMC (and others) has troubled and poisoned the waters of church life in just this way. The liberating Gospel of God in Christ Jesus is coopted by the empire to enforce an agenda of static conformity, a Pax Romana of faith, leaving in its wake a devastation of ‘othered’ lives.

I need to take a deep breath here.

Breathing consciously helps me find center and to really feel my feelings, to feel them deep enough to have them touch my center and move through to a place where there can be integration and creative response.

To all of those faithful Christians who are LGBTQ I say, I see you. I’m sorry for messages you have received and for any way I have been complicit or we the church have been complicit. You are loved and blessed extravagantly by God.  You are welcomed by University Church enthusiastically!

To those of us in Open and Affirming UCC congregations, I say, let us not be too proud or haughty in this sad moment for the UMC, but rather let us continue to seek healing and justice, and to continue exploring what troubled waters we swim in that are yet unseen and unknown to us, troubled waters of ours that are stopping the flow of God’s Love and the blessings of Creation’s Life.